The Environmental Impact Of Gypsy Moths Essay

1223 Words Feb 9th, 2015 null Page
I chose to investigate the environmental impact of gypsy moths because I have personally had experience cleaning up after these pests in northern Ohio and I know that they are becoming an issue in other parts of Ohio as well. I was able to witness some of the damage they have done while removing defoliated trees in Cuyahoga Valley National Park. Gypsy moths are a non-native, invasive species that, over the past decade, have been coming into the state from Pennsylvania and Michigan. The moth undergoes a complete metamorphosis and while a caterpillar it has the ability to feed on over three hundred species of trees and shrubs and cause serious damage and defoliation. The moth’s preference for oak, make the oak tree particularly at risk because the caterpillars favor it and a tree can typically only withstand two years of defoliation before the damage is permanent or results in the death of the tree. Currently 88 counties in Ohio have been infested by now, established populations of gypsy moths. The gypsy moth is native to Europe and Asia and was introduced into the United States in Medford, Massachusetts in 1869 when E. Leopold Trouvelot was trying to develop a new strain of silkworm for the production of silk. When a culture of caterpillars escaped into the local community of Medford nothing was done to eradicate them and they have continued to spread since their first outbreak in 1882 on Myrtle Street. Between 1971 and 1987 the spread of gypsy moths was being fought with…

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